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Pirate Radio (2009)
"The Boat That Rocked" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  13 November 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 87,391 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 207 user | 194 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

A period comedy about an illegal radio station in the North Sea in the 1960s.



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1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Roberts
Mrs. Roberts
Will Adamsdale ...
Ike Hamilton ...
Stephen Moore ...


"The Boat That Rocked" is an ensemble comedy in which the romance takes place between the young people of the '60s and pop music. It's about a band of rogue DJs that captivated Britain, playing the music that defined a generation and standing up to a government that wanted classical music, and nothing else, on the airwaves. The Count, a big, brash, American god of the airwaves; Quentin, the boss of Radio Rock -- a pirate radio station in the middle of the North Sea that's populated by an eclectic crew of rock and roll DJs; Gavin, the greatest DJ in Britain who has just returned from his drug tour of America to reclaim his rightful position; Dave, an ironic, intelligent and cruelly funny co-broadcaster; and a fearsome British government official out for blood against the drug takers and lawbreakers of a once-great nation. Written by Production office

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


1 Boat. 8 DJs. No Morals. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and some sexual content including brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

13 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pirate Radio  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£1,804,773 (UK) (3 April 2009)


$7,994,115 (USA) (1 January 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | (as dts)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dormandy's secretary was originally known as Miss Clitt in early versions but is now only known as Miss C, presumably due to much being made of having two character names doubling as innuendo. See more »


In the first aerial shot after the Radio Rock ship goes "on the move", the exhaust from the ship's stack is blowing toward the bow (forward), but in the next and subsequent shots it's blowing toward the stern (rearward). See more »


The Count: Arrhh, Jesus, I don't even like Simon! Fucking cry-baby!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is an additional scene after the credits have ended. See more »


Referenced in After Hours: Formed a Band (2015) See more »


Let's Dance
(1982) (uncredited)
Written by David Bowie
Performed by David Bowie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A good-humoured and moving British comedy as a tribute to pop-rock
18 June 2009 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

If you think of "Four weddings and a Funeral" or "Notting Hill", you will be a little disappointed, being here the overall tone not so brilliant, dialogues not so sparkling, however, the both humorous and moving atmosphere of Richard Curtis's comedies is still recognizable.

I think the real protagonist in "The boat that rocked" is music, that sound pop-rock that in the 60's began to move the world, and to be opposed by the establishment as a dangerous weapon in the hands of the multitudes, as a threat to a well consolidated but no longer valid system. Among unreal situations, a totally-lacking plot, among odd and eccentric characters, what only matters is that power of music to revive one's spirits, to give voice to the most uncontrolled, animal, ancestral instincts of man. And thus becomes, in my opinion, the most vivid scene that of those hundreds of records floating on the water, the symbol of a generation, of an era that was then ready to explode, and that no strict establishment could have wiped away, even once illegal radio stations were shut down.

No revolutionary message is conveyed: it's a good-humoured and at intervals melancholic tribute to a generation who, maybe ingenuously, but deeply, and truly believed in out of time-values, friendship, respect, love, and believed that music was a strong, and powerfully effective means to convey them. Even if you don't belong to that generation, each of us has experienced, one or more times in one's life, the communion of a piece of music with the most sensitive chords of our soul: it's about something emotional, but also physical and that's what the director just wants to celebrate.

If you are fond of music, or simply you have once in your life been moved by a song, you will like this movie, or at least enjoy it for what it is, without the necessity of too much criticism.

56 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Where are the Beatles? practicalhope
I really enjoyed this movie...until... onepimptiger
folks in the 60s weren't nostalgic for the 60s wilbrifar
Stuff taken out for US release JimF29
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